Found on isolated island chains far from the bustle of major civilizations, the Mako are a little-seen but often conjectured race of shark-like humanoids. Sailors who visit their distant islands have brought back many colorful and embellished tales of the Mako and their strange customs.
The origin of the Mako is unknown. According to their own legends, they were once indistinguishable from the sharks that swim in the waters around their islands. These tales speak of a time many centuries ago when a terrible disease swept the ocean, decimating the supplies of fish and causing massive starvation among their people. But then the wisest Mako leaders discovered a powerful enchantment that would offer them a new hunting ground: the land. So it was that the Mako left the ocean, never to return, though to this day they still live upon its shores.
In human lands, a more common tale is that the earliest Mako were originally normal sharks awakened by druids, who in turn became druids themselves and used their wild shape ability to come onto the land. Any human who repeats this story to the Mako had best hope their audience has a sense of humor.
Personality: Mako tend to be brusque and to the point. They have little patience for subtlety or deception, preferring to act directly and immediately. This isn't a case of honor or nobility: a Mako will seize any advantage they can, including attacking an opponent from surprise. It is simply that a Mako with an objective in mind usually employs the quickest and most direct route in getting there.
Most Mako are pragmatic and practical to the point of ruthlessness. They spare little time for emotion or sensitivity. Many still exhibit a predatory instinct, and will quickly identify and attack any sign of weakness from their opponents. In some cases this behavior extends even to signs of weakness in their friends and allies, but such individuals are seen as aberrant by the majority of the other Mako.
Physical Description: Mako are squat, barrel-chested humanoids with short, thick legs and smooth gray skin. They have shark-like heads with wide, sharp-toothed jaws and small black eyes. Their hands and feet are slightly webbed, which makes them strong swimmers but prone to clumsiness.
Mako are hairless. Other than their reproductive organs, the only way most non-Mako can judge a Mako's gender is by the fact that females tend to be larger than males. The Mako themselves distinguish gender by scent.
Relations: Most Mako have limited contact with other races due to their isolated homes. They are most likely to have met aquatic humanoids such as sahuagin, merfolk or locathah. There are sometimes squabbles over fishing zones with the merfolk and locathah, and the Mako bear the sahuagin the ill-will common to most creatures not of that race.
The Mako's knowledge of land-dwelling races is limited to those whose ships have reached the Mako's islands. The Mako are usually cautious of outsiders, but willing to trade with those who seem honest. Those who identify themselves as foes of the sahuagin receive a warmer welcome than others.
Alignment: The pragmatism exhibited by Mako means that they tend toward neutrality with respect to good and evil. Most Mako see value in helping others for reasons of self-interest, rather than out of altruism or self-sacrifice. However, they do see it as having value.
Attitudes toward law and chaos are more widely varied, with some Mako favoring tradition and authority and others favoring freedom and independence.
Mako Lands: Mako communities are found on isolated islands or archipelagoes, most often in tropical or sub-tropical climates. The government of Mako lands rarely extends beyond individual settlements, with each village or tribe ruled by a single chieftain. The role of chieftain is not hereditary, and the position is filled by a candidate who has the most support amongst the able-bodied adults in the community. This method of rule should not be interpreted as any kind of democratic notions amongst the Mako: in their own words they simply "refuse to follow a fool just because of who her mother was."
Religion: The Mako have no gods of their own, and most of them find the whole concept of deities a little strange. Why would mighty beings such as gods bother with the affairs of mortals? Mako religious beliefs center on the natural world and the struggle for survival. Their religious leaders are commonly druids, though some clerics who do exist. Mako clerics often choose to follow philosophical ideals rather than specific gods.
Language: Mako speak Aquan. Only those Mako who regularly interact with peoples of other races bother to learn other languages such as Common.
Names: Mako given names tend to consist of two simple syllables, much like the name of the race itself. Unlike other races, the Mako use the same names for both male and female members of their people.
Living in small communities, the Mako do not commonly use family names. Instead they identify themselves by their clan or village. Such names are usually descriptive of the settlement's location, or a supposed virtue held by the members of that clan. Mako use these names interchangeably. For example, a Mako might refer to himself as "Tarko of Whitewater" or "Tarko of the Longtooth clan".
Mako Given Names: Bycher, Gandok, Naxxit, Sorlash, Tarko, Waygan
Mako Clan Names: Broadback, Eelbiter, Grimjaw, Longtooth, Racewater, Seahunter.
Mako Settlement Names: Cavecliff, Foambank, Pinefloat, Reefside, Sandsedge, Whitewater.
Adventurers: The arrival of ships from faraway lands sometimes prompts individual Mako to take up the wandering life themselves. Many who take passage on such vessels drift into the profession of adventurer because such folk are less inclined to be intimidated by their appearance, and because it allows them to indulge the wanderlust that usually sparked their departure in the first place.
Mako Racial Traits
• +2 bonus to Constitution and a -2 penalty to Intelligence. Mako are tough and robust, but have limited scholastic opportunities.
• Medium-sized: As Medium creatures, Mako have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Mako have short, thick legs. Their base land speed is 20 feet.
• -2 racial penalty to Spot and Search checks. Mako have weak eyesight.
• -2 racial penalty to Open Lock, Ride and Sleight of Hand checks, and -1 racial penalty to attack rolls with bows (including crossbows). Mako have thick, webbed fingers that make fine motor control difficult, and their short legs are ill-suited to riding.
• Scent: Mako make up for their substandard vision with extremely acute olfactory senses. They have the Scent extraordinary ability.
• +4 racial bonus to Swim checks. Mako are nearly as comfortable in the water as they are on land.
• +1 natural armor bonus. Mako have thick, tough gray skin.
• Jaws: Mako have powerful jaws with large, sharp teeth. They possess a natural bite attack that inflicts 1d4 points of damage.
• Strong Lungs: Mako can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to three times their Constitution score before needing to make Constitution checks in order to continue holding their breath.
• Automatic Languages: Aquan. Bonus Languages: Common, Auran, Draconic, Elf, Sahuagin. Mako speak the language of the sea but do sometimes learn other tongues in order to communicate with visiting sailors or sea-going creatures. Note that Mako PCs are not automatically able to speak Common.
• Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass Mako's ranger class does not count when determining whether they take an experience point penalty. Most Mako rangers take a shark as their animal companion.
• Level Adjustment: +0
|Race||Adulthood||Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer||Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger||Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard|
|Race||Middle Age||Old||Venerable||Maximum Age|
|Mako||30 years||45 years||60 years||+2d10 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||3' 9"||+2d6||130 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|
|Female||4'||+2d6||150 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|